Home Burglaries on the Rise, APD Says Thieves Hard to Catch

Sgt. Brent Barbee, APD
Sgt. Brent Barbee, APD

by: Kristen Guilfoos
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - Thieves are breaking into Amarillo homes by the thousands.

But, as NewsChannel 10's Kristen Guilfoos found out, they're being caught at what some are calling an alarmingly small rate.

We see it on crime shows all the time... Someone breaks into a home, and hours later the suspect is in custody, thanks to perfect fingerprints and DNA samples.

But Amarillo Police say it's not as easy to catch the bad guys in real life as it is on TV.

Sgt. Brent Barbee says, "What they touch, they take. People think a lot about fingerprints and DNA and things like that. Well obviously if they pick something up and leave with it they've left with the fingerprints there too. On television they always leave prints and they're always identifiable prints. In real life it doesn't happen that way."

On average, there are about 2,400 home burglaries a year in Amarillo... That's not including auto break-ins.

Of those 2,400, about 6% result in an arrest. Sgt. Barbee realizes that seems low, but when you compare that to other cities, it's really not that far off base.

He tells us that he's been looking at stats from other places for quite some time and found arrest rates ranging from 5% to at the most 13%.